Thoughtful Thor’s Day: I seem to have misplaced my mojo

My mojo is gone. I don’t know where it went. Did I misplace it somewhere and it’s just sitting there awaiting my return? Did someone else snatch it away? Did it run away after feeling neglected for too long? I have no idea but I know that I’m going to work on finding it/re-acquiring it again.

Life without mojo is quite bland and boring. It’s rather colorless and unexciting. You make it through the day but I have to admit but sometimes I wonder “what’s the point?” I feel like Austin Powers when Dr. Evil stole his mojo – a reverse Frog Prince.

So what can I do to regain or reignite my mojo? Based on the readings I’ve been getting for myself, creativity is the key. That’s ironic simply because I’ve never considered myself an especially creative person. I’m a good student but that’s not the same thing.

Music helps. I find that putting on a great song and just moving around the house helps me feel better and seems to get my energies flowing. Great funky 70s songs like Boogie Wonderland and Fantasy help with that. I can’t listen to those songs and not feel the desire to move. Donna Summer and even the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack help gets things moving too. Maybe that’s the key – I’m too damn sedentary. I do things around the house but it’s not quite the same. I think I need to give myself 30 minutes every day to dance like a fool and get back in touch with my body. If that doesn’t re-ignite the mojo, nothing will.

Tarot Truths Tyr’s Day: The Emperor – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

Mansions of the Moon Emperor

Mansions of the Moon Tarot
by ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.com)
Self-Published

Traditional Meaning:  Power & authority, laws, discipline, active male principle

TarotBroad’s Buzz:  Akhenaten is an interesting choice for the Emperor. Pharoahs were viewed as all-mighty God-Kings, holding the power of life and death over their people. But Akhenaten was a little different. He weakened the power of the priests of Amen-Ra, and focused his worship on Aten – the solar disc with claw-tipped rays emanating from it. Akhenaten also broke with tradition by having himself and his family portrayed in a more realistic (almost caricaturish) style, rather than the standard straight, perfect forms usually seen in Egyptian art. Akhenaten is shown as being somewhat effeminate and curved in appearance, with a rounded abdomen and sloping forehead. This is quite a contrast to his wife Nefertiti’s perfectly formed features. He also moved his capital and temple to el Amarna, despite the prostests of the priests.

By most accounts Akhenaten’s rule was seen as joyous (at least as reflected in the art at that time) and, if not the best ruler of Egypt he certainly doesn’t seem to be the worst. He is often portrayed with his wife and children and there is some speculation that his wife disappeared from the records because she became his co-ruler and eventual successor, Smenkara. She was also quite active in promoting the worship of Aten. He is also something of an iconoclast – breaking with the polytheistic traditions of his ancestors to focus on the sole worship of Aten. Akhenaton is also the father/father-in-law of Tutankhamen, the boy-king and probably the most famous Pharoah known in modern times.

I find this image of an Egyptian Pharoah very interesting. Akhenaten symbolizes the power and authority of the Emperor, softened by his love for his wife and family. He was also open to new ideas and concepts, as shown by his willingness to limit his religious worship to Aten, despite the furor it caused. He could be seen as a wise ruler open to new ideas and thought and willing to listen to others but he also knew how to use his power and authority if the need arose. Overall Akhenaten could be viewed as a positive, powerful & beneficent Emperor.

Shadow Side Saturday: When death’s embrace is welcome

Have you ever wished for someone to die? I don’t mean that quick thought that flashes across our mind towards someone we hate or who has hurt us; that “I wish you were dead” moment. I mean hoping for the death of someone you love; someone who is suffering? I’m in that position right now.

Someone I care for deeply is nearing the end and there is no making her better or improving her condition; merely a slow, steady deterioration. On a daily basis I find myself hoping that that she just won’t wake up one day. The reality is that her death is inevitable (aren’t all our deaths actually inevitable?) and probably much closer than I realize. Unfortunately the lingering slowness of her departure is draining me and my hubby and can’t be fun for her either.

Every time this thought crosses my mind I feel awful. I’m starting to consider myself a horrible, heartless person but the reality is that I completely understand why some people believe in euthanasia. People babble about quality of life and how we don’t have the right to take someone’s life. Why? If someone is going to die anyway (and once again, death is inevitable for us all) then why not limit the suffering and misery such a lingering process brings?

Modern medical technology can extend the body’s life span but it can do very little for the mind. Alzheimer’s and dementia seem to be even more prevalent now because people live longer but not necessarily healthier. Perhaps this is the end result of our relentless pursuit for longevity. We refuse to accept that we are meant to die, ignoring the fact that very often the extension of our lives often results in lingering, miserable existences in our old age. As a result of this tendency, I am left in a position of hoping that someone I love will go to sleep and not wake up.

This makes me feel awful, hateful and horrible. What kind of person must I be to hope for such a thing? My opinion of myself is not exactly very high right now. It’s not that I want her to die, it’s simply that I realize she’s going to die eventually and if the remainder of her life is in this miserable, dependent state I’m sure even she would prefer it end. This is not who she was when she was 5 years ago and that woman would not want to linger like this. I realize I may not have this choice but if I do, I will gladly accept a shorter life span in exchange for being in control of my mental faculties. Is that too much to ask from life?

Thoughtful Thor’s Day: It’s a noir world after all

I’ve been finding myself considering a lot of different things lately. I’ve been a bit unmotivated because I haven’t been sleeping well. I’m not sure why but dealing with it is proving challenging. My intention to begin maintaining a journal has also been derailed. I have good intentions but when the time comes to actually write, I procrastinate. I’m not sure what the resistance is but it’s annoying.

I’m also finding myself drawn to film noir and noir novels; stuff like Sin City and Mike Hammer. I’ve always had a fondness for the genre. Andrew Vachss’ Burke novels and Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder books are two of my favorite series. They describe a world where “good guys” can be corrupt and brutal and “bad guys” may have a higher moral and ethical code. I’m very familiar and comfortable with that world. Growing up in my neighborhood I was well aware that cops weren’t always law-abiding and some criminals were actually pretty decent human beings. I don’t subscribe to the delusion that all criminals are really Robin Hoods at heart or that all cops are dirty but I’m well aware that those possibilities exist.

In some ways I’m rather surprised I enjoy noir tales. As someone who prefers not to deal in shades of gray it’s interesting to me because noir tales are awash in gray and shadows. Nothing is clear, nothing is absolute. It’s world filled with moral ambiguity and rampant examples of situational ethics. The very behaviors that make a character a hero in one tale might condemn her to villainy in another.

Maybe my forays into noirish realms are a way for me to explore these gray, shady areas of life. There are few real-life circumstances that are clear-cut, black and white issues. Shades of gray (aside from being the title of a widely popular, poorly written book) describe most human experiences. Is Yahweh always good? Is Satan always bad? Do the ends always justify the means? I wish there were clear, simple answers to these questions but there aren’t. What film noir and hard-boiled noir novels do for m is allow me to consider this different viewpoint and live it vicariously through the characters. They allow me to learn what motives and drives them. Why they made the choices they did and behave the way they do. They may not be pretty or have happy endings but I find them enthralling and captivating. In fact I think they can be summed up by the phrase “no one here gets out alive”. Whether the characters are “good” or “bad” the one thing you can be sure is that death comes for them all in the end. Sometimes that all the comfort available in life.

Tarot Truths Tyr’s Day: The Emperor – Wheel of Change Tarot

Wheel of Change Emperor

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997

The Book Says: “The Emperor is a lawgiver, and the hierarchical structure of society gives him the power to dispense his law. He believes that this is the only structure of human society that will preserve order and will bring growth. His law is the law of the land, and he is a strict disciplinarian. He is the father in a family whose just rule must be obeyed; he believes that freedom given to individuals results in chaos, so under his rule people will be more secure if they do not think for themselves. He will think for everyone and we will be like children under him.”

My interpretation: The Emperor represents the structure and laws created by society. He is a father/king figure. He often reminds me of the legendary Arthur – who created a structured and lawful society only to find himself trapped by his own rules. This Emperor represents the Solar king but he also has a connection to the structures and cycles of nature. The oak leaves and acorns connect him with the myths of the Oak King and the Holly King who take turns winning control of nature at the Solstices. The silver and gold orbs show his connection to the conscious and the unconscious, his masculine and feminine sides. He seems imposing yet approachable.

This Emperor is a firm ruler but not an unfairly rigid one. He can be both the benevolent dictator and the harsh taskmaster. I see this card as representing that side of human nature that craves rules and regulations to follow. Not having to think for ourselves can often be very appealing to humans. If we don’t have to think then we also don’t have to take responsibility for our actions. The Emperor is both the positive side of laws, civilization and society and the negative side (“I was just following orders”)

Thoughtful Thor’s Day: “Treat Yourself as You Would Treat Others” should be the “Golden Rule”

As are so many of you, I am shocked, saddened and bewildered by Robin Williams’ suicide.  It is so tragic that a man of such comic genius who could bring so much joy and laughter to other’s was in such a state of hopelessness and despair that he felt there was no other solution.  It made me wonder what demons drove him to do this.

I’m sure many recall the “Golden Rule” – treat others as you wish to be treated.  I’ve often thought that is a very powerful and simple way to deal with others (even if I often fail at it myself).  Then a recent Tarot reading I did for myself made me wonder if perhaps this is backwards.  Treating others as you want to be treated might actually be more common that we think. I think the truth is that we are much harsher on ourselves than anyone else could possibly be but it’s a trait we hide from others.

We often assume other people think they are amazing and wonderful but treat the rest of us as subhuman chud. In reality I think many of us are so filled with varying levels of self-loathing, self-doubt and vicious inner criticisms that it’s all we can do to be polite to others.  Those inner voices that criticize, harangue and dog us on a daily basis create a cacophony from which there is not escape.  They may quiet down for periods of time but at our weakest moment they come roaring back to life.  I think that’s why so many people either self-medicate or seek psychiatric meds – to deal with these feelings of inadequacy and incompetence.  I’m not trying to downplay the seriousness of depression but I think there are lesser levels of “the blues” that might be caused by this type of inner self-flagellation.

Perhaps the real key is to treat ourselves the way we wish to treat others. It might lead to us being gentler, more forgiving and kinder to ourselves.  I know I’m often much more willing to grant some latitude to people who have “wronged” me than I am when I feel I’ve screwed up. My anger at others may be fierce and loud but it’s usually quickly gone. When I’m disappointed or angry with myself it goes bone deep and seeps into every aspect of my being. It rears its ugly head when I least expect it and undermines many of my good efforts. Silencing those inner critics and self-doubts is probably one of the most challenging things I’ve every tried. I think that’s the message this reading offered to me – keep trying and working on that process.

Tarot Truths Tyr’s Day: The Keeper – Celtic Wisdom Tarot

Celtic Wisdom Tarot Keeper

Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999 ISBN 0-89281-720-8

The Book says: The Keeper shows Teutatis (Ruler of the People), a title that is recognized across the Celtic world. The regional chieftains and rulers of every tribe all came under the fatherly eye of the Keeper. Due to the fractious nature of local tribal chieftains, a strong ruler or over king (Ard Righ) who could reconcile factions and galvanize tribes into a common purpose was invaluable.
Keywords: Leadership, administration, stability, the harmony of orderly peace, independence, autonomy, authority, fatherhood, intelligence, benevolence, self-assurance.
Reversed: Disorganization, instability, dependence, subservience, ineffectual, authoritarian, domineering, ruthless.
Soul-Wisdom: The Keeper of Harmony maintains the order of life. As the father of his people, he will not let them fall into chaos and dissension. What is the source of your own authority as a human being?

TarotBroad’s Buzz: To me this card symbolizes the positive and beneficial aspects of the Emperor as well as suggesting how restricting that position can be. Teutatis holds the two figures firmly in order to prevent them from battling from each other. He is trying to maintain the peace without overpowering them. The game board beneath Teutatis’ face represents the need for strategy and planning before taking action. Even war is often a matter of proper strategizing and outwitting your opponent. The golden torc symbolizes rulership in Celtic lands. And the bramble or vine, which can grow in any soil, represents a something which grows quickly and is not easily removed. So the Keeper shows us a wise, tenacious ruler who uses his judgment and strength to protect his people.

When I was looking at this card and reviewing the history of the Celtic tribal battles I was immediately struck by the fact that The Keeper would be an ideal president of the US. The Keeper ruled over the local tribal chieftains as the President rules over local governors. The Keeper must use wits, strategy, determination and strength of will to enforce his rule and protect his people, from others and from himself. This is also something useful to US Presidents. But at the same time a poor Keeper would be more dangerous to his people than the anarchy he supposedly holds back. Ditto for a US President. And to some extent The Keeper is trapped in his position, like a US President. Their personal feelings about an issue cannot interfere with their ability to make an executive decision and take a stand. He must always act in the best interest of his people or he is not worthy of his office.

A true leader, The Keeper understands that more can be gained through wits and strategy than through dominance and aggression.  He is strong but not a bully and prefers to battle with his intellect rather than a spear.  The Keeper’s strength is what allows his people to flourish and build a stable foundation.  Upon that foundation great cities may rise and fall but without that stability they may never exist at all.  The Keeper is the stern father-figure who holds us all accountable for our actions and metes out punishment as needed.  He understands that consequences are an important part of maturing and if we never fail then we lose opportunities for growth and to experience life.  Without his strength and reliability behind us, we might not feel confident enough to face failure and the vicissitudes of life.  With his support and wisdom we feel capable of overcoming any obstacles in our path.